Making an extra seven-hundred bucks isn’t keeping the lights on, but I’ll take it.
Quenching the thirst of shiny-object syndrome is an on-going race of time versus effort, for me. I love the creation process, shaping new ideas into little executable nuggets that when consumed, create little ah-ha! moments for a new audience. Over the years, I’ve launched a lot of side hustles that end up becoming part of my main stream business. My podcast, for example, was one of those “testing the waters” things.
In today’s article, I hope to answer some of the questions that allow you to configure a side hustle to your side hustle, and how to level it up to becoming a solid source of revenue.
From side side hustle, to side hustle; maybe even a business?
Yes, my side side hustle, is turning into a side hustle — heck — maybe even a legit service business, one day.
I gave User Feedback Videos it’s own domain + sales page once I started getting repeat customers, that was my ah-ha! moment. Surpassing $700 in sales helped too, and there’s still the risk that this thing might not ever sell another order, but I’ve upgraded it to “side hustle” status. Here’s some pointers that might help you, get started with turning your little idea or skill set into a marketable product:
1. The best side side hustle is a…?
For me it’s got to be productizing some form of consulting that you’re really good at. For me, it’s providing feedback on products and marketing. If I were you, I’d take a step back and look at what that ONE thing is you do on repeat, everyday, that you know people want to chat with you about.
Reviews and teardowns fit the bill perfectly for most of us. Let’s say you’re a designer, you could offer up video reviews or Skype calls giving up bits of advice on design and structure of a PSD.
Proficient blogger? I’d love an affordable “second opinion” set of eyes on my more lengthy content pieces.
Your goal should be to define something that you’re so darn good at, that you can offer up in tiny bites, making it affordable and quick to produce.
2. Giving your side side hustle a home
UFV launched on a single page on my PluginTut website. I didn’t sit down and plot out lengthy sales pages (still haven’t) or an overwhelming feature list — and neither should you.
Start with where you already produce content, even if it’s just a link in your Twitter bio. I’d recommend creating a video that explains what you’re offering in less than two minutes, using a free hosting service like Wistia to host it. I chose Wistia because you can get some important view stats like, time watched and where a viewer replayed a video. You can then use this data to ensure people understand your new idea, and how interested they really are.
Use that as your calling card for now, sprinkling your link around where it’s needed. I barely did any real marketing & promotion when I launched, short of some tweets here and there.
If and when your idea starts taking off, then invest in giving it it’s own homepage. Plugins like Beaver Builder make it easy for you to make nice landing pages, when you need to.
3. Big business automation, for a tiny idea
There are so many amazing tools at our disposal, making the tiniest of ideas, run like a enterprise powerhouse.
For me it’s the power of Gravity Forms, and how this “sleeper” plugin for e-commerce transactions is pivotal to streamlining my process, saving me gobs of time. I’ll keep harping on this, because I think it’s the most important part about a side side hustle, it’s all about maximizing your process for time + effort to = profit.
Through Gravity add-ons, I can automate a lot of this service like:
AgileCRM – I’ve setup the form to add a new customer to my AgileCRM database, and automatically setup the task for me to complete. For starters, I don’t have to go digging in my e-mail or WordPress dashboard to find the new contact.
PayPal – It’s how I get paid.
Zapier – Using Zapier, I can create a new customer in my Wave Invoicing app, which comes in handy when I complete the work and send a receipt. I’m thinking of using this to also trigger the creation of a new DropBox folder, if I ever deliver original video files.
Drip – I use Drip Email Campaigns + Gravity Forms — WordPress Plugins to drop in the new customer to a Drip campaign which will alert them that I’ve received their order, and I’ll be processing it shortly.
4. Testimonials and referrals; the lifeblood
Side side hustles don’t take up a lot of time on your content marketing calendar, so the lifeblood has to be leveraging customer testimonials. Arguably important in any business, but even more so when you’re not committed to creating a robust sales website.
Gathering testimonials is easy — just ask. Really, that’s it, just ask. So many of us overlook that and move on after the engagement is over. Don’t forget to push for a referral, too. Here’s what I’ll append at the end of an e-mail:
If you found this feedback useful, would you mind dropping me a few lines for a testimonial? Do you know anyone else that can benefit from this service that I can reach out to? Thanks!
5. Pricing and when to turn it into a “real” thing
Pricing is probably the hardest thing to give advise on — your side side hustle might be vastly different than the next. That said, if we’re using “consulting” time as our model to launching a side side hustle, you could distill it down to the amount time you spend creating the work, as it relates to your hourly rate.
My belief is, the price point should be affordable enough to where your potential customer doesn’t have to shop you around, or compare you with another service she might be using OR it’s so unique, only YOU offer it. Also, you want to make it so valuable, that it’s a no brainer for the customer, while, it doesn’t overly distract you from the day job.
So, when does this side side hustle become a real business?
Base it off your sales and feedback. Again, I like to let these products “stew” in the market. If I start getting organic traction & feedback, it’s time to start re-investing, like giving it it’s own domain. It’s very gut feeling, but that’s the idea, to see if it gets up on it’s own two feet and starts running one day.
What’s your side side hustle?
Got an idea you’re itching to launch, or have one already underway? Tell me in the comments! Want to save five buck-a-roos on mine? Use code SIDESIDE5 here.